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United Airlines has just announced plans to purchase 4 new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners and 25 new Embraer E-175 aircraft with deliveries expected in 2019 and 2020.
The 4 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners will come equipped with the elusive United Polaris Business Class cabin and, according to United, are part of the airline’s ongoing fleet replacement strategy – all 4 aircraft are scheduled to be delivered in 2020.
United’s current 787-9 Dreamliners mostly still offer the airline’s older Business Class cabin with 2-2-2 seating (despite the fact that United still insists on calling the cabin “Polaris”) so the new aircraft represent a significant improvement in the frontmost cabin.
United operates the 787-9s on some of its longest routes (Auckland, Singapore etc..) so it will be interesting to see if the new aircraft will lead to any new long-haul route announcements from United or if they’re just going to replace older aircraft on existing routes.
The new Embraer-175 aircraft will be delivered in 2019 and are scheduled to replace 25 CRJ-700 aircraft currently operated by United Express. The new aircraft are billed as offering “a more comfortable and efficient aircraft” for United’s passengers but that’s something we’ll have to reserve judgement on until we see the cabin layouts that these aircraft will offer – just because an airline claims something is “more comfortable” for passengers doesn’t necessarily mean that’s actually the case!